About US

The Equus Beds aquifer is the principal source of fresh and usable water in south central Kansas.  The aquifer underlies portions of a four-county area which is about 900,000 acres in size.

There are approximately 2,000 non-domestic water wells that withdraw an average of 157,000 acre-feet from the aquifer (51.2 billion gallons) each year. Industrial usage accounts for about 15 percent of the average total; irrigation accounts for 50 percent; and municipal accounts for 34 percent. Other uses account for one percent.

The Equus Beds Groundwater Management District No. 2 was formed in 1975 to manage groundwater supplies within its boundaries. The Equus Beds aquifer is managed on two fundamental management principles: 1) Aquifer Safe-yield Principle which limits groundwater withdraws to annual groundwater recharge; and 2) Groundwater Quality Principle which seeks to maintain by protection and remediation the naturally occurring water quality of the aquifer.

This Management Program is a comprehensive aquifer management plan that was developed, adopted and implemented by the Board of Directors of the Equus Beds Groundwater Management District No. 2 to carry out these two management principles.



Legislation permitting the formation of Groundwater Management Districts was passed by the Kansas Legislature in 1972. An initial meeting was held in Burrton, Kansas, to determine if sufficient interest existed to warrant formation of the District. It was the decision of those attending the meeting that formation of the District was an important step in preventing serious groundwater problems in the Equus Beds aquifer.

A task force of representatives from Harvey, McPherson, Reno and Sedgwick counties was formed, and a steering committee of seven members was selected from the 16-member task force. The steering committee worked in conjunction with the State Advisory Committee to establish a workable District area and to insure that the District's purpose was consistent with the laws and policies of the state of Kansas. Boundaries of the proposed District were approved by the Chief Engineer on August 19, 1974.

An election was held on May 27, 1975, to determine if the District would be formed. Two hundred and forty-two voters cast votes in favor of forming the District and fifty-one  voted against its formation. The Secretary of State issued a Certificate of Incorporation on May 30, 1975, which was filed in the Register of Deeds offices in Harvey, Reno, and Sedgwick counties on June 5, 1975, and in McPherson County on June 6, 1975. The Equus Beds Groundwater Management District No. 2 was the second such District to be formed in the State of Kansas.

The District boundaries remained unchanged from 1975 until 1988 when Reno county landowners and water users petitioned the Equus Beds Groundwater Management District Board of Directors to expand District boundaries in the eastern half of Reno County. Under authority of K.S.A. 82a-1033, the Chief Engineer, approved an extension of District boundaries effective December 20, 1988. The certified copy of the Chief Engineer's order approving the extension of the District was filed with the Secretary of State on January 4, 1989. It was filed for record in the office of the Register of Deeds of Reno County on January 4, 1989, Harvey County on January 18, 1989, McPherson County on February 3, 1989 and Sedgwick County on February 17, 1989.


The purpose of the Equus Beds Groundwater Management District No. 2 and its Board of Directors is to properly manage groundwater resources of the District for the benefit of the resource and the public interest. The Aquifer Safe-yield Principle and the Groundwater Quality Principle are fundamental to such management.


It is the goal of the Equus Beds Groundwater Management District No. 2 to manage the groundwater supplies within its boundaries by balancing groundwater withdrawals with annual recharge to the aquifer to prevent groundwater mining and protect the natural water quality of the aquifer and remediate groundwater contamination.


The District will carry out its goal in the following ways:

  • * manage the Equus Beds aquifer on a "safe yield" principle;
    * educate and inform the public on groundwater issues;          
    * monitor both quality and quantity of water in the aquifer;
    * investigate or study the physical and hydrologic characteristics of the aquifer;
    * investigate alternative sources of water;
    * investigate ways to improve recharge and prevent its deterioration;
    * encourage reclamation or recycling of waste water;
    * support legislative changes which enhance good groundwater management practices;  and
    * cooperate with appropriate local, state and federal agencies and organizations.


The latest edition of the Equus Beds Groundwater News is now available and may be viewed on our "Meetings" page.

Current and previous newsletters can also be found on our Meetings page.

Starting in 2015, newsletters will be published semi-annually, in January & July.

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Updated: 01/4/2016